Junior dos Santos Dispatches Unbeaten Tai Tuivasa in UFC Fight Night 142 Headliner

Junior dos Santos Dispatches Unbeaten Tai Tuivasa in UFC Fight Night 142 Headliner

By Brian Knapp Dec 1, 2018

Junior dos
Santos
remains a factor in the division he once ruled.

The former
Ultimate Fighting Championship
heavyweight titleholder brought
down Tai Tuivasa
with punches in the second round of their
UFC Fight Night 142
headliner on Saturday at the Adelaide
Entertainment Centre in Adelaide, Australia. Dos Santos (20-5, 14-4
UFC) sealed the deal 2:30 into Round 2, though it was far from an
easy night’s work.

Tuivasa (8-1, 3-1 UFC) crippled the Brazilian with a devastating
leg kick in the first round, pinned him to the fence and uncorked a
standing elbow and clubbing right hand. Dos Santos weathered the
attack but retreated to his corner in a compromised state. Tuivasa,
25, moved in for the kill in the opening minutes of the second
round, only to walk into a counter right hook from “Cigano,” the
impact resulting in a fight-altering knockdown. Dos Santos jumped
into side control and dropped elbows and hammerfists before
climbing to full mount. More punches fell, prompting referee
Herb
Dean
to act.

Resilient ‘Shogun’ Stops Pedro

Mauricio
Rua
survived several tense moments to stop Tyson Pedro
with punches in the third round of their light heavyweight co-main
event. The 2005 Pride Fighting Championships grand prix winner and
former UFC champion brought it to a close 43 seconds into Round 3,
improving to 26-11 (10-9 UFC).

An inadvertent clash of heads in the first round put Rua on rubbery
legs. Pedro (7-3, 3-3 UFC) capitalized with an opportunistic
volley, as he unleashed a barrage of punches and knees that had the
Brazilian on the verge of collapse. Somehow, “Shogun” withstood the
onslaught. He turned to takedowns and top control in the second
round — a risk-averse tactic that offered him further time to
recover. Pedro appeared to suffer a leg injury early in the third,
hit the deck after Rua clobbered him with an overhand right and
offered no intelligent defense on the ground, where he ate a burst
of punches and hammerfists before referee Steve Perceval elected to
intervene.

It marked the 22nd finish of Rua’s remarkable career.

Willis Vanquishes Inactive Hunt

American Kickboxing Academy rep Justin
Willis
extended his winning streak to eight fights with a
unanimous decision over 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix winner Mark Hunt in a
three-round heavyweight showcase. All three cageside judges scored
it the same: 29-28 for Willis (8-1, 4-0 UFC).

Hunt (13-14-1, 8-8-1 UFC) zeroed in on his opponent’s midsection
and lead leg with kicks in the first round. However, he suffered a
laceration just below the knee and saw his output dwindle to next
to nothing across the ensuing 10 minutes. Willis was content to
remain on the outside, as he peppered the visibly frustrated,
dejected and fatigued “Super Samoan” with a punishing jab while
integrating intermittent uppercuts and knees.

The 44-year-old Hunt has lost three consecutive bouts.

Martin Chokes Matthews Unconscious

American Top Team’s Anthony
Rocco Martin
put “The Ultimate Fighter Nations” alum Jake
Matthews
to sleep with an anaconda choke in the third round of
their welterweight feature. Matthews (14-4, 7-4 UFC) bowed out 1:19
into Round 3, his three-fight winning streak at an end.

After obliging the Australian with a wild standup exchange in the
first round, Martin (15-4, 7-4 UFC) settled in and fought at a more
manageable pace. He weakened Matthews’ base with a string of calf
kicks, countered effectively and methodically turned the tide in
his favor. Early in the third round, Martin swept his counterpart’s
legs out from under him with another kick, denied a subsequent
takedown and wheeled to the back before catching the choke on the
transition. Soon after, Matthews went limp.

Martin, 28, has put together three straight wins since his split
decision loss to Olivier
Aubin-Mercier
in September 2017.

Yusuff Blitz Buries Mokhtarian

Team Lloyd Irvin
export Sodiq
Yusuff
dazzled in his promotional debut, as he put away
Suman
Mokhtarian
with punches in the first round of their featured
featherweight tilt. Mokhtarian (8-1, 0-1 UFC) succumbed to blows
2:14 into Round 1, experiencing defeat for the first time as a
professional.

Yusuff (8-1, 1-0 UFC) rang the Australian’s bell with collar-tie
punches at the start, softened him with knees from the clinch and
then struck from a distance. A multi-punch combination had
Mokhtarian reeling, as he retreated backward and leaned against the
fence. Sensing the end was near, Yusuff cut loose with power
punches to the body and head, and while several shots missed the
mark, referee Greg Kleynjans had seen enough to warrant the
stoppage.

Spawned by Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, the
25-year-old Yusuff will carry a three-fight winning streak into his
next appearance.

Crute Kimura Submits Craig

Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series graduate Jim Crute
submitted onetime British Association of Mixed Martial Arts
champion Paul Craig
with a kimura in the third round of their light heavyweight
showcase. Craig (10-3, 2-3 UFC) conceded defeat 4:51 into Round
1.

Crute (9-0, 1-0 UFC) did his best work in the first and third
rounds, where he climbed to full mount, applied his
ground-and-pound and threatened with submissions. Late in the
third, the 22-year-old Australian brute relinquished an attempted
arm-triangle choke, pummeled Craig with punches and settled in side
control. Crute then isolated the arm, clamped down on the kimura
and forced the tap in the waning seconds of the match.

It marked the first time Craig had been submitted in his 13-fight
career.

Kunchenko Dominates Okami, Moves to 20-0

Former M-1 Global champion Alexey
Kunchenko
kept his perfect professional record intact with a
unanimous decision over Yushin Okami
in a preliminary welterweight clash. Kunchenko (20-0, 2-0 UFC)
swept the scorecards with 30-26, 30-26 and 30-27 marks from the
judges.

Okami (35-12, 14-7 UFC) was offered no path to success. Kunchenko
took a measured approach in the standup and utilized a crushing
sprawl, cutting off the Japanese judoka at every turn. The
34-year-old Russian staggered Okami with a chopping right hand in
the third round and later tore into him with a volley of clinch
elbows to the side of the head while defending a takedown.

Okami has lost two of his three fights since returning to the UFC
in 2017.

Reis Smothers, Short Circuits Nguyen

Wilson
Reis
threw the brakes on a career-worst three-fight losing
streak with a clear-cut unanimous decision over Ben Nguyen in
a three-round undercard tussle at 125 pounds. Reis (23-9, 7-5 UFC)
was awarded 30-27 marks by all three judges, as he posted his first
victory since February 2017.

Nguyen (16-8, 4-3 UFC) failed to answer the Brazilian’s aggression.
Reis was met with little resistance, as he closed the distance and
either smothered the taekwondo black belt in the clinch or secured
strategic takedowns. His efforts bled an untold amount of time from
the clock and denied the frustrated Nguyen opportunities to engage
offensively.

The 30-year-old Nguyen has suffered consecutive losses for the
first time in more than eight years.

Experienced Nakamura Upends Touahri

Former Sengoku and Deep champion Keita
Nakamura
leaned on sneaky punching combinations and occasional
kicks, as he eked out a split decision over American Top Team’s
Salim
Touahri
in a preliminary welterweight battle. Judges Howie
Booth, 30-27, and Charlie Keech, 29-28, scored it for Nakamura,
while Howard
Hughes
struck a 29-28 scorecard in Touahri’s favor.

After an uneventful first five minutes, Nakamura (34-9-2, 4-6 UFC)
seized control. The 34-year-old forced Touahri (10-3, 0-2 UFC) to
circle on the perimeter while feeding him basic two- and
three-punch volleys mixed with kicks to the body and leg. Nakamura
dropped the Pole to a knee with a counter right hand in the second
round, stayed busy and consistently beat him to the punch in the
majority of their exchanges.

Nakamura has won eight of his past 11 bouts.

Newcomer Kara-France Obliterates Garcia

City Kickboxing standout Kai
Kara-France
spent the better part of three rounds picking apart
Elias
Garcia
with sustained ground-and-pound, as he cruised to a
unanimous decision in a three-round undercard confrontation at 125
pounds. Scores were 30-25, 30-25 and 30-26, all for Kara-France
(18-7, 1-0 UFC). Outside of a knockdown in the first round and a
triangle-choke-to-armbar series in the second, Garcia (6-2, 0-2
UFC) swam upstream. Kara-France assumed top position with
surprising ease and assaulted the Roufusport representative with
elbows and punches from above, flirting with a finish on more than
one occasion. A short-notice substitute for the injured Ashkan
Mokhtarian
, Garcia could only turtle, retreat and scramble.

Kara-France now finds himself on a six-fight winning streak.

Giagos Outpoints Reeling Hirota

Onetime Resurrection Fighting Alliance and Tachi Palace Fights
titleholder Christos
Giagos
won for the fifth time in seven appearances, as he took
a unanimous decision from Mizuto
Hirota
in a preliminary lightweight affair. All three judges
sided with Giagos (16-7, 2-3 UFC): 29-28, 29-27 and 30-28.

Hirota (18-10-2, 1-5-1 UFC) struggled to gain a foothold in the
match. Giagos dropped the Japanese veteran to a knee with a right
hand in the first round, swarmed with follow-up punches and
executed a takedown before applying heavy ground-and-pound. The
28-year-old Black House rep also controlled much of the middle
stanza, only to have fatigue provide Hirota with a window of
opportunity. There, he assumed top position, advanced to the mount
and ultimately achieved full mount. Unfortunately for the former
Deep and Sengoku champion, time was not on his side, and an
exhausted Giagos survived the final 10 seconds.

Hirota, 37, has lost three fights in a row.

Ismagulov Sinks Unbeaten Gorgees

Repeated takedowns, suffocating top control and productive
ground-and-pound carried former M-1 Global champion Damir
Ismagulov
to a lopsided unanimous decision over the previously
unbeaten Alex
Gorgees
in a three-round undercard pairing at 155 pounds.
Ismagulov (17-2, 1-0 UFC) swept the scorecards with 30-25, 30-26
and 30-26 marks from the judges.

Gorgees (6-1, 0-1 UFC) offered virtually nothing in return.
Ismagulov hammered him with a series of lightning-bolt right hands
on the feet before swooping in for takedowns, pinning him to the
canvas and piling up points with punches and elbows. Gorgees tried
and failed to lure the Russian into a firefight in the third round,
only to have his porous takedown defense exploited yet again.

Ismagulov has rattled off 12 straight wins.

Resilient ‘Shogun’ Stops Pedro

Willis Vanquishes Inactive Hunt

Martin Chokes Matthews Unconscious

Yusuff Blitz Buries Mokhtarian

Crute Kimura Submits Craig

Kunchenko Dominates Okami, Moves to 20-0

Reis Smothers, Short Circuits Nguyen

Experienced Nakamura Upends Touahri

Newcomer Kara-France Obliterates Garcia

Giagos Outpoints Reeling Hirota

Ismagulov Sinks Unbeaten Gorgees

Source

http://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Junior-dos-Santos-Dispatches-Unbeaten-Tai-Tuivasa-in-UFC-Fight-Night-142-Headliner-146379

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